Morning Juice: Brandon Webb is a perfect 9-0, BUT

This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's MLB Roll Call starts on a baseball field inside an airplane hangar in Phoenix, Ariz., where Brandon Webb is working on a streak of Hawkinsonian proportions.

Game of the Day: D-backs 8, Rockies 5

Plan 9 From Outer Space: Brandon Webb is 9-0. Not since Andy Hawkins started 10-0 in 1985 has someone gotten out of the chute this well. It's great that Webb is rolling, and his parents must be proud, but he is mere freak to Cliff Lee's Superfreak right now. He's the kind you don't take home to mu-tha. If they handed out a Six-Week Cy Young Award and gave it to one pitcher only — and it's about time, really, with all the clamoring for it — each first-place vote should go to Lee. He also should be emperor and best man at your wedding. But enough about Webb.

Brandon, and nothing but: Speaking of Webb, many of you know about Andy Hawkins' no-hitter that he lost in 1990 to the White Sox. Did you also know that he lost another no-hitter 12 days later to the WSox when Melido Perez tossed a rain-shortened six-inning job against him. Pascual was in the stands, too, according to this NYT account. Neither no-hitters were official because "the rules," but back to Brandon Webb for a second; anyone remember the time Pascual missed a start because he got lost on the way to his home ballpark?

Webb of intrigue: Brandon Webb's teammate Stephen Drew was just a li'l ol' home run away from a cycle. Two more bases, really, because he hit two doubles. If not a cycle, should we not give him at least a scooter? Rascal?

Pledge of allegiance: Did the sheriff intend to kick out illegals but instead kicked D'Backs fans out of Maricopa County? Perhaps they are one and the same; only 21,447 at the Ex-Bob. Let's see. Suns have set. Coyotes done been caught in a trap. Bingo night. Must be bingo night. Or maybe they just got lost on the way to the park.


AL Game of the Day: White Sox 4, Angels 3

Menace II North Central O.C.: A.J. Pierzynski, Anaheim's favorite dude — like, ever — hustles his way to a double in the ninth, setting up creaky Jim Thome (he's been 0-for-a-lot) for the go-ahead single against K-Rod.

Spy vs. Spy: Jon Garland, who never felt he was fully appreciated on the South Side, even in his own clubhouse (he's kind of a baby) pitched pretty well in his first bout against his former club. Pierzynski got him, too, with an RBI double in the second. Sox still waiting for Orlando Cabrera to be better than Juan Uribe. It's going to happen any second now.

Stat wizards: In one of the most unfair things anyone's ever seen, Sox reliever Matt Thornton picks up a blown save because he faced a guy who reached on an error when the tying run scored.


Feelin' rundown (Thursday's other AL games)

Indians 4, Athletics 2 — The Indians can pitch. This much we know. But they have no one for the late innings, and they still can't hit. Funny thing is, it might be enough to win the AL Central by six games.

Blue Jays 3, Twins 2 (11 inn.) — The Jays could get a lot of B.J. Ryan at the trading deadline. He's spotless in 12 innings so far. Yes, they should give up. They'll never catch the Rays (AKA, "us").

Royals 8, Tigers 4 — Not sure how I feel about the Royals' wearing powder blue tops and and white pants. I don't want to like it, but I do. Jose Guillen gets all philosophical after discovering the Royals had swept the Tigers: "That's a question I ask, ‘How we can sweep this team twice with the type of offense that they have?"' That's baseball. You see some stuff you're never going to believe, but we did it." Word to your homies, Josie. Word to your homies.

Rays 5, Yankees 2 — Our magic number to clinch the AL East is 120. Does the Tropicana Field DJ play "Kashmir" when Scott Kazmir comes in from pregame warm-ups? If not, whattya waitin' fur?


Photo of the Day: Wonderin' Wellemeyer

"Hey guys! I can see my reflection in this tobacco juice pool!"


Feelin' rundown (Thursday's other NL games)

Pirates 11, Cardinals 5 — Taking him out of the ninth inning doesn't work, so, like they did with Bob Uecker and hepatitis in the '60s, the Cardinals might want to inject Jason Isringhausen with cooties so he'll go on the disabled list. Five losses, six blown saves and an 8.00 ERA saves so far after Jason Bay takes him deep for a pinch hit, three-run homer. Pluck Al Hrabosky out of the booth, if ya gotta.

Dodgers 7, Brewers 2 — Zeros until the seventh, when the Dogs jump all over Ben Sheets for six runs — the key blow coming on a three-run dong by... Gary Bennett? Great managing by Torre. Ryan Braun locked up for 7 8/$45m, so the Cheese Mafia can celebrate that. Maybe with a blintz?

Nationals 1, Mets 0 — Someone page the Mets and tell them it's not September 2007 again. Anyone? OK, Billy Wagner's got this one. Bleepin' shocker. Also, a great catch by Willie Harris. Mercy!

Cubs 4, Padres 0Ryan Dempster strikes out 12 Padres, which has to be like striking out eight guys on a real offense. Meanwhile, racism still functional on Fukudome front.

Astros 8, Giants 7 — Like Gordo Cooper a generation before, Astronaut Lance Berkman splashes down in the waters of McCovey Cove. OK, Gordo Cooper — the best pilot anyone ever saw — flew in space for a time first. Berkman merely put a baseball up there for a few seconds. Orbit, schmorbit. Let's see Gordo Cooper hit .391. Call Dr. Spaceman.

Phillies 5, Braves 0Cole Hamels shows a team that used to know how it was done, how it is done.

Marlins at Reds, ppd. (rain) — You can't click on a game that didn't happen! You also can't have your pudding if you don't eat your meat!


Fantasy Freaks

Gary Bennett (Dodgers) 2-4, HR, 4 RBI

Aaron Laffey (Indians) 7 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K, Win

Jason Bergmann (Nationals) 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K, Win

Ryan Dempster (Cubs) 8 1/3 IP, 6 H, BB, 12 K, Win

Lance Berkman (Astros) 2-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, SB

Carlos Lee (Astros) 3-5, HR, SB

Cole Hamels (Phillies) 9 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K, Win

Stephen Drew (D-backs) 4-5, 2 R


Fantasy Flakes

Ben Sheets (Brewers) 6 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 5 K, Loss

Kenny Rogers (Tigers) 4 IP, 11 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, K, Loss


Big Talker

"You can only do so much not to use Izzy in a situation." — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, on the Isringhausen quandary.

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